Current number of messages on my voice mail = 36.
If you are ready to get an agent (and more on THAT later). Please, do NOT call them on the phone. I’m sure you’re perfectly lovely, but I promise that whoever told you that if you “just get them on the phone you’ll be able to convince them that you’re book will be huge” was doing you a massive disservice. We really don’t want to spend our time answering questions about your submission. If you do have a question about the submission process that you can’t find the answer to online DO YOUR BEST TO FIGURE IT OUT. The thing is, a submission to an agent is kind of like a quiz. If you do a reasonably good job of it, it’s only going to help your overall grade. More importantly, if you’re writing is amazing, we’re not going to say “oh wow, this writing is the best thing I’ve read since INSERT TITLE OF MAJOR BESTSELLING AUTHOR HERE” but too bad he used Helvetica instead of my preferred Times New Roman font. Really, we’re all reasonable. That being said, just don’t do anything crazy such as:
- Use so much tape, packing material (really, are packing peanuts necessary? It’s paper people!) that we can’t open your manuscript.
- Send flowers or some such other gift. It’s totally creepy.
- Use a freakishly small font (we’re all half blind).
- Single-space your manuscript (see previous comment regarding eyesite).
- Punch holes in it and stick it in a giant binder. Unwieldy!
- Use double sided paper.
If you’re debating sample chapters vs. no sample chapters, just take a guess – BUT DON’T CALL. Getting more sample chapters than we’d like is a million times less annoying than getting the call asking if we want them. Trust me on this one. And more importantly, trust yourself! If you’ve figured out how to write an entire book proposal or manuscript, chances are you’re a pretty smart cookie and you can navigate this part of the game just fine. It takes patience my friend. Stick those pages in the mail, sit back, read a book or start thinking long and hard about what you’re going to write next.